Depp vs. Heard
The Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial has captivated audiences around the globe, with live streams of the court proceedings reaching hundreds of millions of people.
No matter if you’re on Johnny’s side or Amber’s side, the trial is shining the spotlight on an important and often overlooked issue, domestic violence inflicted by women against men.
Defining Corporal Injury Law
California PC 273.5 states that:
(a) Any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim described in subdivision (b) is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(b) Subdivision (a) shall apply if the victim is or was one or more of the following:
- The offender’s spouse or former spouse.
- The offender’s cohabitant or former cohabitant.
- The offender’s fiancé or fiancée, or someone with whom the offender has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship, as defined in paragraph (10) of subdivision (f) of Section 243.
- The mother or father of the offender’s child.
(c) Holding oneself out to be the spouse of the person with whom one is cohabiting is not necessary to constitute cohabitation as the term is used in this section.
As you can tell, the law does not assert that only a man can inflict violence and be charged with domestic abuse.
Women can also perpetrate violence against their partners and be charged.
Domestic Violence Related Crimes
The most common domestic violence crimes in California include battery, abuse, and neglect. Some of these crimes are charged as felonies, while others are misdemeanors, depending on the circumstance and severity of the offense, as well as the defendant’s criminal record.
Let’s take a closer look at domestic violence related crimes in California:
Domestic Battery — PC 243(e)(1)
Penal Code 243(e)(1), California’s domestic battery law, makes it a misdemeanor to inflict force or violence on an intimate partner. There is no requirement for a visible injury to be convicted of this crime. Punishment for this misdemeanor includes a fine of up to $2,000 and one year in county jail.
Corporal Injury — PC 273.5
Penal Code 273.5, California’s more serious ‘Corporal Injury’ law, makes it a crime to inflict injury that leads to even a slight physical injury on an intimate partner. The penalties for this felony charge range from one year in the county jail to four years in California state prison.
Criminal Threats — PC 422
Penal Code 422, the “criminal threats” law in California makes it illegal to threaten someone with serious harm. This crime is a “wobbler” and can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor.
The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to one year in jail, while the felony charge can include up to four years in prison.
How to Reduce or Dismiss a Domestic Violence Charge
There are a few legal defenses a criminal defense attorney will deploy to help you reduce or dismiss domestic violence charges, including:
- Asserting the injuries were an accident
- Asserting the injuries were not caused by your actions
- Assert that you were acting in self-defense
- You are being falsely accused
Plea bargains can also be used to reduce domestic violence charges. In these instances, you may plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid the stigma and consequences of a domestic violence conviction, such as losing your right to own a firearm, losing custody rights, and being deported.
Recognizing Domestic Violence in a Relationship
There are some telltale signs of domestic violence in relationships that you should be aware of, including if your partner:
- Bullies you, criticizes you, belittles you, calls you name, or accuses you of cheating.
- Controls what you wear, eat, and who you hang out with.
- Threatens to kill you or a loved one.
- Throws things or punches walls or doors during arguments.
- Controls your money by putting you on an allowance, hiding credit cards, preventing you from working, stealing money from you or your loved ones, etc.
- Cuts you off from your friends and family.
- Physically hurts you, including abandoning you in unfamiliar places, locking you out of the house, hitting you, punching you, attacking you with weapons, pulling your hair, etc.
Here are the signs to look out for that someone you know may be being abused by their partner:
- Sudden injuries that pop up with no reason or with outlandish excuses.
- Personality changes.
- Constantly checking in with their partners.
- Skipping work, school, social events, and things they used to love.
Recovering from a Domestic Violence Charge
Working with a skillful attorney is your best bet to get your charges reduced or dropped so that you can reclaim your life and recover from the bad press and overall image that domestic violence charges bring. It’s also imperative that you follow all court orders, including protection orders, fines, rehabilitative programs, community service, probation terms, and anything else the judge imposes on your sentence.
Following these stipulations to the tee will allow your case to progress as fast as possible so you can get back to living your normal life.
- Domestic Violence Related Crimes in California
- How to Reduce or Dismiss a Domestic Violence Charge
- Recognizing Domestic Violence in a Relationship
- Recovering from a Domestic Violence Charge
Are You Accused of Domestic Violence?
No matter what side of domestic violence you’re on, we can help. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to help you file or fight charges and get your life back. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.
Need an Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529
Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of cases.